New and Noteworthy in our community
Fox Lane High School Youth to Youth Group Presents Year End Wrap Up, Aspirations for the Future at Mt. Kisco Partner in Prevention Monthly Meeting
Graduating high school seniors from Fox Lane High School will be the featured guest speakers at the June 8, 2016 Partners In Prevention meeting at 7pm at Town Hall, 104 Main Street, Mount Kisco, NY.
Students will present “Youth to Youth 2016 Wrap-Up: Aspirations for the Future” and will tell why they joined Youth to Youth, discuss the challenges/successes of leading drug- & alcohol-free lifestyles, and how Y2Y positively impacts high school students. In addition the students will review club-sponsored 2015-2016 awareness activities and talk about the future of Youth to Youth. The students will also talk about the next chapters in their lives and their plans for the future.
“This is my favorite meeting of the year when we hear from the students who are directly impacted by our support. We admire each of them for living a drug- and alcohol-free lifestyle, and congratulate them on being such excellent role models. We wish each of the graduating seniors the best of luck in their future endeavors, and gain comfort in knowing they have the will to stay drug- and alcohol-free wherever their lives take them” said Nan Miller, PhD, LCSW, Mt. Kisco Partners In Prevention Coordinator.
The presentation is free and the public is invited. Parents, school administrators, community leaders and coalition members are encouraged to attend.
This is the last MKPIP meeting before the summer and before the graduating students go off to college or enter the workforce. The students were involved in many drug and alcohol prevention activities throughout the school year.
About Partners In Prevention: The overall mission of Partners in Prevention is to reduce underage drinking, marijuana use, and prescription drug abuse among local youth by strengthening community collaboration, and implementing action to address local conditions as revealed by regularly gathered research data. The immediate goal of the coalition is to reduce underage drinking by addressing parent attitudes and parent understanding of the risks and issues. Visit www.mkpartners.org for more information or call Nan Miller at 914-273-3251.
Mark Sterner, a compelling speaker on the tragic consequences of DUI – drinking under the influence, has responded to our students’ request to address a Fox Lane assembly. He will, in fact, speak on Thursday, December 11th at two assemblies for the students and at an evening meeting for parents at 7:00pm. ” DUI: A Powerful Lesson,” tells his story of what happens when alcohol and driving mix and friends die. See Sterner presentation flyer
Mount Kisco Partners in Prevention is partnering with FLHSA, FLMSA and the Bedford Drug Abuse Prevention Council to make this event a success. Our goal is to attract as many parents as possible. We will hold a parent discussion immediately after the presentation about parental involvement and problems in controlling student behavior in the face of the temptation and risks of alcohol and drug use; especially when combined with driving.
We hope this session will spark interest in continuing parent group discussions.
I do think he was a great way to start our National Collegiate Alcohol Awareness/Homecoming week. Most students in the audience were current student leaders and I know they were able to really absorb what he was saying. I think having actual footage of the night was key to having the audience connect with the story. We felt like we knew the boys too. I thought everything was effective.
Sharon Brownlow, Kennesaw State University
Our students at Augusta State University gave Mark Sterner a standing ovation, which showed me and other staff members from across campus here at ASU that he really touched their lives in a special way that night.
Jessica Haskins, Augusta State University
Mark spoke to our new freshmen at the University of Kansas. He connected with everyone, and we were all completely captivated by his story. After his presentation, many students came up to both him and me, thanking us for the experience. Mark is an amazing man with an incredible story, and I would recommend him to any group of students.
Tali David, University of Kanas
…I want to let you know that as my friends and I walked off the bleachers, every single one of us was deep in thought about what you had said; we each tried to act normal, tried to act as if we weren’t questioning every drunk decision we’d ever made, but that didn’t last long. When the topic came up we were all (all 30 of us) in agreement that your story was one of the most moving things we’d heard in a while. None of us can imagine losing each other, let alone imagine being responsible for it. None of us will ever drive drunk ever again.
Student, High School
Fox Lane High School students joined millions of teens nationwide last week in pledging to remain drug-free as part of the annual Red Ribbon Week observance. The traditional red ribbon bearing the message “FLHS—Live Drug-Free” was available to the entire student body through the work of the Youth to Youth Club and with the financial assistance of Mount Kisco Partners in Prevention, the local Drug-Free Community coalition.
In addition to developing the banners, signs, and daily themed events that promoted anti-drug messages throughout the week, the FLHS Youth to Youth Club enlisted the assistance of Principal Joel Adelberg and coalition coordinator Nan Miller in planting red tulips in the school courtyard as a reminder of the Red Ribbon pledge. This year’s campaign theme, “Love yourself—be drug free,” appeared on bracelets, T-shirts, and water bottles that were given out to students throughout the week in the commons, where they could also pick up some fact sheets on marijuana, alcohol poisoning, and steroid use.
Responding to the energy and thoroughness of the students’ efforts in getting out the message through signage and events, Dr. Adelberg declared at Thursday’s bulb planting, “This is the best Red Ribbon Week we’ve had so far. There isn’t anybody in our community that doesn’t know this is Red Ribbon Week.” Addressing the students directly, he added, “I hope you all know what a difference you are making in our school.”
The Red Ribbon Campaign is now the oldest and largest drug prevention program in the nation, reaching out to young people each year from October 23 through October 31. The tradition of displaying red ribbons as a symbol of intolerance toward the use of drugs began after the 1985 murder of federal drug enforcement agent Kiki Camarena in Mexico City by drug traffickers. Since that time the National Family Partnership, promoter of the event, has successfully recruited millions of parents and students to pledge their participation in, and support of, safe, healthy drug-free communities and families.
For more information, contact:
Nan Miller, Ph.D., LCSW
Partners in Prevention Coalition Coordinator
c/o Village/Town of Mount Kisco
104 Main St.
Mount Kisco, NY 10549
According to the 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), every day an estimated 7,900 people aged 12 or older use drugs for the first time in the U.S. In an unprecedented show of solidarity in the quest to keep local teens alcohol- and drug-free, the clergy in Mount Kisco have used their time of worship this past week to communicate the prevention message to their respective congregations. Spearheading this initiative has been Mount Kisco Partners in Prevention, a coalition of community sectors organized through the Mount Kisco Drug and Alcohol Abuse Prevention Council.
Dr. Nan Miller, coordinator of the Partners in Prevention coalition, says the response from the faith community has been encouraging. “We reached out to all the houses of worship in the community over the summer,” Miller explained. Perry Wooten, a Partners in Prevention member and himself a retired pastor, took on the challenge of coordinating participation and developed the focus on a single week and a unified message.
Miller reports that “a number of local congregations participated this week,” agreeing to use some portion of their weekly religious service to address the need to help teens make healthy choices. The coalition made background information on substance use available to congregation leaders, provided a printed sheet that worshippers could take home with them to reinforce the message, and in one house of worship, shared in delivering the sermon.
Invited to speak at Bet Torah synagogue by Rabbi Aaron Brusso at the September 27 service, Dr. Miller shared the perspective she has gleaned on teen substance abuse from her years of work as both a therapist and a student assistance counselor. Stressing the efficacy of approaching substance use among teens from a prevention, rather than a treatment, stance, she offered specific suggestions to families on how they can best protect their children from involvement with substances.
Miller’s advice included creating an environment of open communication about drugs and alcohol in the home and making parental disapproval clear and unwavering; following through on consequences; sharing family meals together frequently and regularly; and living as role models of how to handle alcohol and prescription drugs.
Encouragement was offered to continue the family’s involvement in practicing their faith. Miller pointed out that research shows young people who have a meaningful connection to a faith community are more likely to remain alcohol- and drug-free.
One additional suggestion—volunteering together as a family—was particularly in evidence at the United Methodist Church of Mount Kisco, where Reverend Karen Burger joined her prevention message this week with a spotlight on young parishioners reporting on their work for the Appalachia Service Project this summer. Tying it all together, Pastor Burger referenced “the transformative power of service,” and underscored the connection between “positive opportunities for fellowship and service” and the ability of a young person to resist adopting drugs and alcohol as coping mechanisms.
Another Mount Kisco participant in this week’s faith initiative was St. Francis A.M.E. Zion Church, where Reverend Earl Lewis urged his congregation to “preserve and protect our youth, and give them the choices that lead to wholeness and healthiness.” He will be incorporating the prevention message into his Community Day activities on October 4, and a joint service planned with the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Northern Westchester on October 12 as well.
Based on the success of this first community-wide attempt to spread the prevention message with the coordinated help of Mount Kisco’s faith leaders, Dr. Miller is hopeful of more widespread participation in the next effort. “Working with the clergy has been so meaningful, we are inspired to reach even higher next time. A county-wide faith initiative is being discussed. We have many wonderful coalitions like ours throughout Westchester, and the message is so very important to us all.”
One of the goals of a Drug Free Community (DFC) coalition is to impact underage drinking with environmental strategies—that is, to change the community in ways that make alcohol less accessible, less available, less desirable to underage drinkers. Police, businesses, and community worked together this past year to do just that, by completing four rounds of alcohol compliance checks among local bars and restaurants, and by providing responsible beverage service training to local wait staff and their employers.
Alcohol compliance checks are part of the process the police department uses to reduce the illegal sale of alcohol to those under 21, and involve sending a team of officers, both uniformed and non-uniformed, into licensed liquor establishments in Mount Kisco to conduct integrity checks on the sale of alcohol to underage youth. Last November and December, 100 percent of establishments passed, meaning that they did not serve or sell alcohol to minors. Two subsequent checks in May brought similar results: There were no violations among the thirteen establishments put to the test.
The improvement since May 2013, when three establishments failed, is significant. According to policeman Lt. Patrick O’Reilly, “This is in part a credit to continued efforts of both enforcement and education of the employees.” Mel Berger, Director of Mount Kisco Partners in Prevention, explained that the responsible beverage service training conducted by the coalition has helped educate owners and servers alike. Two such trainings have been made available to local retailers in the past year.
Michael Gedigk, an active volunteer in the coalition and chair of its outreach committee, is certified in Training for Intervention ProcedureS (TIPS). He offered the most recent training session on June 23, and sees participation by retailers as a win-win. “Staff development and legal compliance with beverage service laws are good things for the owner; enhanced safety accrues to the community,” Gedigk points out.
Underage drinking is a significant public health issue, with consequences that include car crashes, fights and accidental injuries. Limiting youth access to alcohol is an effective means of preventing these consequences. Therefore local businesses must continue their commitment to following the law and not serving/selling alcohol to underage people. Nan Miller, Coordinator of Mount Kisco Partners in Prevention, adds, “The compliance checks are part of a concerted community effort to help keep our youth drug-free. In addition to these checks, Mount Kisco Partners in Prevention is working to educate parents about the importance of not serving alcohol to teens at home and at parties.” The coalition, and the compliance checks, are funded through a DFC grant to the Mount Kisco Drug & Alcohol Abuse Prevention Council.
Partners in Prevention commends those establishments that did not sell alcohol to underage patrons during the compliance checks:
Westchester Burger Company
Tacos La Cabana
Café of Love Inc.
The Rose Room